Waste Treatment,
MRFs & More


Planning, EIAs,
Reviews, Seminars &Management


Waste Treatment,
MRFs & More

Tutorials, Reports Presentations

Database of Contents

Tailor Made Consultancy

Specific Support
for your Project

Seminars Events

Upcoming Events

Ask a Question




Gold-Member-of-ISWA Logo



Wednesday, 24 October 2012 18:05

Solid Waste Management in Bolivia

Written by  Isabel de la Parra Leibson
AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Download Full Article

Editor’ Note: This paper has been targeted for a broad audience. The level of scientific detail provided is therefore not as high as would be normally be required in technical paper subject to peer review by environment industry professionals.

Bolivia is situated in the center of the South American continent. Politically and administratively, it is made up of 9 departments, 112 provinces and 327 municipalities. The territory spreads over 1.098.581 km2 with an average population density of 9,31inhabitants per km2. According to the national census executed by the National Statistics Institute (INE), in the year of 2001 the total population was 8.274.325 inhabitants. Approximately 67% of these occupy urban areas and the other 33% rural areas (INE, 2012)

Solid Waste Management in Bolivia, as there is currently not one city where this management is realized, is directed principally to the work by waste collection services. More specifically, it is directed primarily to the recollection and transportation of wastes, and in the best cases also the final deposition of these wastes in “controlled” waste dumps which contain many technical and environmental defects.

It is calculated that the national per-capita production of domestic wastes in the urban areas of Bolivia is approximately 0,50 kg per person per day, and 0,20 kg per person per day in the rural areas. The variation in waste generation is directly related with the consumption capacity of each municipality as well as the type of waste generated. It is estimated that in the year 2010, 1.745.280 tons of waste was generated in the urban areas only (DGIRS, 2011).

Regarding the composition of the wastes, it can be affirmed that more than half the wastes (55,2%) are biodegradable, 22,1% is recyclable material and 22,7% is considered as unusable waste. While information regarding waste composition is available, it is important to remember that there is as of yet not one city in Bolivia where waste is separated at the origin and/or formal selective recollection services for different types of wastes. Although there have been various attempts in the past at a pilot project level which have attempted this, the lack of preparation and lack of beneficiary population interest have unfortunately always been limitative factors for these types of initiatives (DIGIRS, 2010).

The quantity of dangerous wastes has not been formally quantified except for the wastes originating from health establishments. These wastes are recollected in various ways and deposited in a unique cell apart from the common wastes. In this cell, the wastes receive a unique treatment with Ca O2. In the case of industrial wastes, there are no special recollection services. Because of this, the wastes end up being deposited in waste dumps together with the domiciliary wastes. The same happens with the special wastes, such as tires and construction wastes, which often end up in public areas, rivers and ravines. It is estimated that the annual generation of construction wastes is 43.591 m3 in the city of Cochabamba alone (SGAB-CF, 2009).

Login to post comments

© 2012 D-Waste All rights reserved
Join us in Linkedin
Find us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Visit the D-Waste Chanel